Milan defeats Udinese 3-1

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Goals by star forwards Andriy Shevchenko and Kaka helped defending champion AC Milan beat third-place Udinese 3-1 at San Siro on Sunday.

Updated: February 25, 2007 10:47 IST
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Goals by star forwards Andriy Shevchenko and Kaka helped defending champion AC Milan beat third-place Udinese 3-1 at San Siro on Sunday, lifting the Milan powerhouse within two points of league leader Juventus. The Turin team was held to a 1-1 draw in a late match at Cagliari when a header by veteran Gianfranco Zola in the closing minutes evened a 54th-minute goal by Juventus' Brazilian midfielder Emerson. Juventus has 44 points at the halfway point of the season. Emerson scores At Sant'Elia stadium in the Sardinian capital, Emerson scored with a short-range header off a cross by Pavel Nedved in one of the few offensive actions of the visiting team. Second-half substitute Antonio Langella was denied a goal by consecutive great saves from Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon before the winning header by Zola. Zola, a former Chelsea star, outjumped Jonathan Zebina and the ball struck the post and bounced into the goal. The draw gave Cagliari 26 points, in the upper half of the table. Shevchenko evens In Milan, Udinese scored after nine minutes through striker Antonio Di Natale on the icy San Siro field, but Shevchenko evened the score in the 31st with his 13th goal this season. Udinese's Czech midfielder Marek Jankulovski headed a cross by Clarence Seedorf into his own net to give Milan a 2-1 lead in the 53rd against the run of play. Brazilian star Kaka sealed the home team's victory in the 89th with a low shot from a quick counterattack. Another key AC Milan defender, Paolo Maldini, was cheered by fans with applause, slogans and posters before kickoff as he celebrated 20 years of Serie A play with the Milan powerhouse. Roma draws Elsewhere, striker Vincenzo Montella scored two goals to rally AS Roma to a 2-2 draw at Chievo Verona and become the Serie A's leading scorer with 16 goals. The draw prevented AS Roma from leapfrogging Palermo and Sampdoria for fifth place, and ended Chievo's losing streak. Two goals by Luca Toni earned Palermo a 3-1 win at Lazio, and Parma missed two penalty kicks and needed an injury-time goal by Alberto Gilardino to defeat Lecce 2-1. Parma got its first goal from Australia midfielder Mark Bresciano. Also, Sampdoria was held to a 0-0 draw by Bologna at Genoa; Livorno beat Messina 3-1, and lowly Atalanta and Siena settled for 1-1 at Bergamo. (AP)

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